Pesto is one of those things that just makes things taste better. Most pesto recipes are made up mostly of oil, and second to that basil and pine nuts. There's traditionally some Parmesan cheese in there, too. No wonder it's delicious, right?
And what is pesto typically paired with? Pasta. Yup. So, consuming pesto would likely entail lots of oil, some cheese, and some pasta. If we did that too often we might have a clogged artery or two and we'd certainly feel some belly bloat.
We're not cool with swearing off any foods that we think are delicious, pesto included, and we want to have super delicious foods frequently! Soooo, we found a way to make pesto dairy-free, packed with nutrition, and with a lot less oil. Our pesto recipe is actually mostly greens with very little oil, yet it still has a rich, strong flavor. Oh! And we sub out pine nuts for walnuts to save some $$$ cause pine nuts are darn expensive, and walnuts have a slightly better nutritional profile.
We typically pair our pesto with a lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles (naturally gluten free, one ingredient, and filled with protein/veggies rather than starchy, refined carbs). We don't just pair with pasta/pasta alternatives though. A recipe for veggie loaded lentil pasta with pesto can be found here.
This pesto tastes amazing as a veggies dip for roasted broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. A lot of the time we'll add a dollop to a nourish bowl and just toss it all together so there's a thin coating of pesto over everything in the bowl. DELISH. Not only does this add major flavor to your food, but it changes things up and keeps it more interesting.
PRO TIP: When you batch cook for the week, make one or two dressings or sauces (like this pesto, for example). This way, even if you're basically eating the same thing each night, you're really not. You can mix and match the sauces or use them for multiple dishes in the same week. Now that's efficient. We are all about saving time and making healthy eating easy and delicious.
This pesto requires no prep. You just throw all ingredients into a blender or high quality food processor and that's it. You're done in literally 5 minutes.
Ingredients: makes enough for 2-3 uses. Double for a family!
1/2 C fresh basil
1 C spinach or baby kale
1/2 C walnuts (may also use pumpkin seeds)
1/4 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil (or we love to use Con'Olio Walnut oil)
1-2 Tbsp water (start with 1, add more if you'd like thinner consistency)
1/2 lemon's juice
1 clove garlic
salt + pepper to taste
1. Add all dry ingredients to a food processor or high quality blender, and pulse a few times.
2. Add in lemon juice, 1 Tbsp water, and begin blending again.
3. As it blends, add in the 2 Tbsp oil little by little.
4. If you would prefer a thinner consistency, add the additional Tbsp of water, little by little until desired consistency is reached.